William Audain Asks About Battery Life for Olympus and Lumix Cameras
Battery Life for Olympus and Lumix Cameras.
I am not an explorer, simply put I am a hobbyist photographer but I have come across your website simply because you use m 4/3 cameras. I am considering getting a Panasonic gh3, which you have tested extensively.
I own an Olympus em1 and em5, the reason being the small form factor , JPEG quality and high ISO grain that I find perfectly acceptable. The one thing that is problem to me is the lack of battery power, when out in the field have you experienced the same issue? Do you find the omd range eats batteries? I recently counted from a full charge with excessive chimping and menu adjustment (at home) 155 shots. I have turned off and adjusted every setting that would assist in draining the battery quickly.
Is it just a case of, carrying 4-5 batteries +2 in the camera and grip?
I know the Panasonic gh3 with a battery in the camera and battery pack is is highly rated for all day shooting, In your experience would you say this is correct?
Great to hear from you William. Your issues regarding battery life with both your Olympus cameras is not surprising. Olympus makes a great camera but it’s incredibly small size puts it at a disadvantage when it comes to battery life. I recently returned from our Alaska whales and brown bear photography trips where one of our long-time Explorers was traveling with us who uses the Olympus Om-D EM-1. She was lamenting the battery issues herself and mentioned that she easily goes through as many as three batteries per day. The somewhat larger size of the Lumix GH4 allows for a considerably larger battery compartment and I regularly get as much as one full day per battery. That said, if I think it will be a super productive shoot I will always carry one spare.
Without a doubt the MFT cameras have nowhere close to the battery life of my Nikon cameras that I could shoot for 2-3 days without charging batteries. MFT camera’s lack of battery life comes from an always on LCD screen and the fact that the MFT cameras just don’t have the internal room for a larger battery.
With my Lumix cameras I sometimes use the extra battery grip that is especially nice when using the longer telephoto zooms. It not only gives me extra battery power but also a better handle to grasp when using the larger lenses.
Panasonic Lumix and Olympus have a common thread with their cooperative efforts to establish the Micro Four Thirds category of cameras but they diverge considerably when it comes to how small a camera can be before it loses the necessary tools to make it productive. Battery life is just one of those tools the GH4 and GH3 cameras provides that the Olympus cameras cannot. Fortunately Panasonic has made many great decisions in their designs and engineering where they give the photographer just the right amount of “whatever” in exchange for a smaller lighter package when compared to the traditional DSLR’s. There is a limit as to how small a camera can go before it becomes unproductive.